Rising energy prices are hitting Australians hard. If you're looking for ways to cut your power bills, you have more options than just using your heater less or unplugging your TV. Focusing on the kitchen can help you score some relatively easy energy-savings goals.
Here are five tips to make your kitchen energy efficient and cheaper without resorting to a life of cold canned dinners.
Boil only what you need
An electric kettle uses more energy to boil more water. So if you're just making a cup of tea there's no need to put 1.5 litres of water in the kettle. Limiting the water will save you electricity and boil your water faster. Less money, faster tea.
If you're boiling something on the stove, cover the pot with a securely fitted lid. This keeps the heat in and speeds up the cooking process, using less energy and also taking less time.
If you're heating up a small amount of food, a microwave is probably the most energy-efficient way to do it.
Look to the star ratings
Buying newer appliances is expensive, but a fridge with a better energy rating uses less electricity. Given that you'll use your fridge for many years, this will undoubtedly save you money long term.
You can easily check the energy efficiency on most appliances by looking at the star rating. Electrical appliances have six and seven-star rating systems and the ratings are regulated by the government.
Check your seals
A weak or broken seal on your oven door means the heat is leaking out, using much more energy to cook your food. Fix or replace that seal and cut down on wasted energy. The same holds true for seals on fridge and freezer doors. Faulty seals are literally leaking money.
Keep everything clean
Cleanliness is next to thriftiness in the energy saving game. It's obvious, really. Clean kitchen appliances work better and use less energy to function properly. So clean the filter in your dishwasher regularly, clean your oven door so you can see through it and defrost your freezer regularly. It all adds up.
Redesign your kitchen
The tips above are simple and practical enough, but remodelling your kitchen is another, much more drastic way to save energy.
Renovating your kitchen can bring lots of energy benefits. Older kitchens might have poor ventilation, less natural light and older or faulty fittings and appliances.
If you replace or enlarge your windows to bring in more light, you'll save on lighting costs and heating in winter. Replace old electrical fittings, range hoods and stovetops with more energy efficient ones. Redesigning the kitchen space to ensure there's plenty of ventilation room for the back and sides of your fridge and microwave lets air circulate and is better for appliance performance.
Kitchen renovations are costly, but homeowners can fund their renovation or kitchen upgrade by taking out a line of credit loan using the equity in their property. A renovation is pricey, but a successful one can add serious value to your home.
A brand new kitchen might push you to step up your culinary game, saving you money on eating out as well as lowering your energy bills.
Richard Whitten is a member of the home loans team at finder.com.au. His role is to explain all the complexities of the home loan industry in ways that help consumers make better life decisions.
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